From the Cover: Ian Pratt was raised on stories about his great-great-grandfather Arthur's exploits in the British army during World War I. He longs to be brave like Arthur Pratt, but the bookish boy is more content to write in his journal, hang out with his great-grandfather, and ride his bike with his friend Nate. One night, he is awakened by a strange vision begging him for help, but the man disappears before he can understand the details of what's being ask of him. Although he is frightened by the incident, Ian can't ignored the call for help. He vows to get to the bottom of the mystery, even if it means mustering every scrap of courage he has in order to face the cave. On the day he finally steps into the dark, yawning mouth of the cave, Ian leaves his childhood behind, entering a world that will test his strength, courage, and compassion like they've never been tested before. He enters the cave with questions, and the answers he finds there lead him through a haunting yet touching adventure of epic proportions.
Ian is an eleven year old boy who loves to hear his Gramps talk about the great war, the one that his great-great-grandfather, Arthur Pratt, never came home from, never to be found, never returned to his son, Teddy, Ian's Gramps. Unlike a lot of kids his age, he likes spending time with his Gramps, getting to know what no one else seems to remember.
Ian has a nemesis called The Cave. It calls to him and mocks him. He wants to enter it, but he's afraid of what he'll find inside. There might be animals, homeless people, or criminals, all scare Ian. His other enticement is the Butterfield Ranch, it's full of mystery and ghost stories. No one lives there anymore, but it's kept in beautiful condition in hopes that it's lost owner will return.
When Ian finally musters his courage and enters the cave, it leads him into the unknown. What he finds isn't at all what he expects. He writes it all down in his journal, but knows he can never explain it to his parents. He turns to the only person he can trust, Nat, but Nat laughs and the only thing Ian can do is to take him to The Cave to prove himself.
The Cave by Steve McGill is a fun little adventure that lets the reader take a trip through time. The reader learns about the lives lost and the people still waiting for those to be returned who were lost. Imagine finding a trunk filled with newspaper clippings, objects from a time forgotten, and a photo album filled with the faces of those that time has relinquished. But those lost are not always forgotten, and those lost might need the help of an innocent to find their way home. In this story, Ian is the innocent who can help those who are lost find their way. Some might see this as a horror story because of Ian's fear of the unknown or some may see it as a coming of age story because Ian gains the knowledge and courage to meet the unknown, but all will find this story to be one of value to the old and the young alike.
The Cave is a quick little read that I would recommend as reading for middle school, to bring interest to history. It's one of those books that kids might like to read as an adventure story. It brings an understanding to the reader of what war was and could be like. It was an interesting read that speaks to the inner child, the one that still believes in the mystical. For more information about Steve McGill or his book, The Cave, please visit http://www.smcgill.net/. I received this book for review from the author. I'll be interested in his future releases, wondering if Ian's tale will continue. There's much left for us to know about the Butterfield Ranch.
Here's a peek at the trailer for "The Cave"